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Book XXIV.

And þat hope we full hertely thurgh helpe of

your one.”

THE ANSWARE OF ACHILLES TO VLYXES THE KYNG.

remained in his

come here to be slain.

To þat honerable onestly answaret Achilles, Achilles answers 9744 With wordis full wise in his wit noble:that it was great folly for them to

“If vs auntrid, Vlyxes, thurgh angard of pride, come to Troy on such an errand.

To pis kith for to come, & oure kyn leue,

Hit was folly, by my faith, & a fowle dede.

9748 Masit were our myndes & our mad hedis, (fol. 6.)

And we in dotage full depe dreuyn, by faith, ffor the wille of a woman, & no whe ellis,

All our londes to leue, & to laite hedur, 9752 Oure kynges be kild, & oure kide dukes,

All oure londes to lose, and oure lyf als,

In a cuntre vnkynd to be cold ded. " It would have

Hade not Palomydon, the prise kyng, provet the been wiser had Palamedes

bettur,
own land, than to 9756 To haue lengit in his lond, & his lyf hade,

And haue deghit in his Duché, as a duke noble,
Then be britnet on bent with a buerne strang:

And fele other fre kynges frusshet to dethe, 9760 þat might haue leuyt as lordes in þere lond yet ?

Syn the worthiest of þe worle, to wale hom by

dene,
Are assemblit to bis sege in a sad ost,

If hit happyn hom here with hond to be slayn, 9764 And þaire londis to lose lightly for ay,

All be world shall haue wondur of hor wit febill;
And Carles þaire cuntre cacht as þaire aune,

To weld all be worchip bo worthy men aght. Hector himself 9768 Was not honerable Ector, oddist of knightes, was slain ;

In this batell on bent britnet to deth ;
And lightly his lif lost in a stound:

ffor all his fursnes, in faith, had a febill end? and the same fate 9772 be sam to my-self, sothli, may happyn,

LIFE DEARER THAN FAME,

319

Book XXIV.

me, who am far
inore feeble.
Your labour is in
vain : for

bat am febiller be fer pen pe fre prinse,
Both of myght, & of makyng, & of mayn strenkith. may befall

bis trauell is tynt, I tel you before,
9776 Me to preve with your praier prestly to feld,

Or
any

troien to tene, trist ze non other.
Hit is playnly my purpos neuer in plase efte,

I will fight no ffor to boun me to batell þer buernes schal fight, 9780 Ne per as doute is of deth, ffro þis day efte.

Me is leuer for to lyue with losse þat I haue,
ben ani person be put vnto pale deth.

Hit is wit soche wildnes wayne out of mynd, 9784 And pas ouer a purpos enparis at þe end.”

more.

Rather will I lose my fame than

my life.”

entreat him to

vain.

Þen Diamed, be derf kyng, and the Duke Diomedes,

Nestor, and
Nestor,

Agamemnon
Tretid hym trietly, all with tru wordis,

return; but in ffor to turne his entent & his tyme kepe ; 9788 But all þaire wordis þai wast, & þaire wynd alse. Noght stird hym po stith in his stalle hert,

(fol. 151 a.) Ne the prayer of the prinse, þat the prise hade,

Agamynon the gret, þat the gomes sent, 9792 Noght meuyt his mynd for no myld speche,

Ne put of his purpos ffor prayer ne other.
ban laght þai hor leue, po lordes, in fere,

Ayryn to the Emperoure angardly fast, 9796 All þai toldyn hym (tite), as pai tide euyn, (MS. hastale')

Of þaire answare, in ordur, those od men to-gedur.
Agamynon full graidly gedrit all somyn,

Agamemnon
Dukes, and derfe Erles, doughty of hond,
9800 Caght hom in councell, and the cause told,
The authwart answares of Achilles the kyng,

Achilles; and And the prayer of the prinses, þat prestly were

sent,

By assent of hym-selfe, þe soueraine vnto ; 9804 And how he counceld the kynges to kayre into

grece,

summons a council of the leaders; informs them of the conduct of

asks their advice.

Book XXIV.

With the Troiens to trete, & tene hom no more ;
All hor lond for to leue, & hor lyue saue.

“Lakys now, ledys, what you lefe think,
9808 And what ye deme to be done at this du tyme.”

treat with the

slain : and

succeed without Achilles.

Nestor and

When the souerain hade said, sone opponon, Menelaus advises, Menelay meuyt vp, & with mouthe saide :that it would be a shame to

“ fforto trete with the troiens ys no tyme now, Trojans, now

9812 Ne no worship, I-wis, but a wit feble. that Hector and

Syn Ector ded is of dynt, & Desfibus the knight, Deiphobus are

And other kynges ben kyld, þat cleane were of

hond,

The Troiens full truly trusten no bettur,

9816 But dernly to degh: pai demyn non other. that they could

I am sekir, for-sothe, and sadly beleue,
Withouten helpe of þat hathell vs hastis an end."

Then Nestor pe noble duke, another-Vlixes, 9820 Saidon to the souerayn sadly agayn :

"Hof þow wylne to þe wer, wonders vs noght, l'lysses declare that Troy is not

Syn þi hert is holly the harmys to venge ; to be so easily

Thy wyf for to wyn, þat þou well loues, 9824 And to grefe hom agayne, yf pou grace hadde : But yet trust not bat Troy will titly be wonyn,

, bof derfe Ector be ded, and Deffibus alse.

There is another als noble & nait of his strenght,

9828 & als wondurly werkes in wer vppon dayes ; nearly as great as Hector; and

That is Troilus the triet, þat tenes vs full euyll, Deiphobus,

And fuersly in fight fellis our pepull.

hof Ector were eftsones ordant alyue,
9832 He kylles our knightes, kerues hom in sonder:

And Paris, a prise man, pert of his dedis ;
Was neuer Deffibus so doughty & derfe of his

hondes. and, that the

Therefore, sirs, vs semyth sothely the best, Greeks ought to treat with Priam, 9836 With the Troiens to trete & turne to our londes,

With the harme, þat we haue, of our hede kynges,

won ;

(fol. 151 b.)

that Troilus is

Paris as

and return home,

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Book XXIV.

The traitor
Calcas reminds

In sauyng of our-selfe & our sure knightes."

Then Calcas the curset, þat was the kyde traytour, 9810 The Bysshop of the burgh, þat I aboue said,

Negh wode of his wit, walt into sorow,
Brast out with a birr & a bale noise.
" Ah ! noble men of nome, nayet of your werkes, them that the

gods have 9814 Worthiest in worde, wanttis no hertte !

promised them

victory.
What ! thinke ye so proly this þrepe for to leue;
Your goddis to greue, þat graunttes you an end ?

Leuys hit full lelly, the laike is your avne, 9848 And the prise of the play plainly to ende,

Thurgh the graunt of your goddes, & no grem pole.
What ! thinke ye so proly pis þrepe for to leue ?
Heyue vp your herttes, henttes your armys;

take heart, 9852 Wackyns vp your willes, as worthy men shuld; and desist not

till the city is Bes fuerse on your fos to the ffer end,

captured. And lette no dolnes you drepe, ne your dede let;

ffares with no faintyng till your fors lacke ! 9856 Tristis me full truly, you tydes the bettur, Yonder won for to wyn,

and
your

wille haue;
And perfore greue not your goddes for grem þat

He urges them to

may folow."

At the wordes, I-wis, of this wickyde traytor, 9860 All the grekes with grem gedret pere herttes,

Noght charget Achilles, ne his choise helpe,
But were frekir to be fight þen at the first tyme;
And pus in Rigour bos Renkes Restyn tyll efte.

The leaders are encouraged and determine to fight on.

322

(fol. 152 a.)

XIV Boke : off the Sextene & be xvij Batell.

When the truce was ended, the battle is renewed.

Troilus, in revenge for the death of Deiphobus, slays a thousand knights.

9864 When the Monethis were meuyt of the mene tru,

The Grekes with a grym fare gedrit to felde
Mony bold vppon bent in hor bright wedys,

All ffuerse to the fight, felle men of hondes. 9868 ban soght fro the Cité, with a sum hoge,

Troiell the triet knight, & pe toile entrid.
The stoure was full stith, starf mony knightes;

Dedmen with dynttes droppit full thicke, 9872 And mony lede on the laund out of lyfe past.

ffor tene of his tru brother, Troiell the knight, Dressit hym the dethe of Deffibus to venge.

Mony grekes ynto ground he gird out of lyue, 9876 And fele with his fauchon þat fyn knight slogh.

As Dares of his dedis duly me tellus,
A thowsaund thro knightes þrong he to dethe

bat day with his dynttes, of the derffe grekes. 9880 All ffrickly his fos fled at the last ;

Þai turnyt to þere tenttes with tеne at þai hade :
The ffrigies hom folowet, fell hom with swordes.

han the day ouerdrogh to be derke night, 9884 The Troiens turnyt to toun, & the toile leuyt.

The Greeks are driveu back to their tents,

Night ends the battle.

When the sun with his soft beames set vp

olofte,

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